'Stop plunder of pension funds'

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

Stronger measures are needed to stop the "ongoing plunder" of pension funds that defraud workers of their hard earned retirement savings, the South African Local Authorities (SALA) pension fund said yesterday.

SALA pension fund chairman Bongani Maphanga appealed for stronger measures to be implemented together with greater accountability on the part of trustees and their advisers.

"Improved vigilance on the part of trustees, regulators and fund advisers is necessary to protect the interests of pension fund members," Maphanga said.

His comments come after several corporate scandals came to light recently involving some of the country's top pension fund administrators, including Alexander Forbes and Fidentia.

Maphanga said the extent to which ordinary South Africans were being financially compromised by practices ranging from "bulking" to inflated adviser fees and outright theft had reached alarming proportions.

"Asset managers and advisers must be called to account in terms of strict rules which, if flouted, result in the immediate termination of mandates," he said, adding that trustees also needed to ensure they were beyond reproach and on top of the complexities involved in running a modern retirement fund. - With Sapa